Jaden Ivey entered Purdue University as the 89th-ranked player in the 2020 recruiting class. Unlike most lottery prospects, Ivey spent two seasons in college. Last season, he led Purdue to the NCAA tournament before falling to this year’s Cinderella team, Saint Peter’s. Ivey was also on the 2022 consensus All-American second team and the 2022 first-team All-Big Ten. He is widely considered the top guard prospect in the draft. With explosiveness and experience under his belt, Ivey should provide an instant spark for any team.
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Name: Jaden Ivey
Jersey: No. 23
Weight: 200 lbs
When scouting Ivey, the first thing that jumps out is his explosiveness. He’s lightning-quick with the basketball and able to blow by his defenders. The Purdue guard is a nightmare to guard in transition. If you try to contest him at the rim, you just might end up on the wrong side of a highlight reel. Because of his quickness, he’s able to get so many wide-open looks inside the arc. Ivey is also a decent three-point shooter, making 35.8 percent of his shots from downtown. Combine the quickness with the three-point shooting and you can see why he is a top pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Ivey is also a very crafty finisher around the rim and can absorb contact. Last season at Purdue, he was able to get many and-1s at the rim and get to the free-throw line. Ivey’s hangtime at the basket allows him to change direction mid-air while his shot is being contested. This should be helpful against NBA-level interior players in the paint.
While Ivey loves stealing the ball and forcing transition opportunities, he has to be more consistent on that end of the floor. Unfortunately, he is not as engaged defensively as he should be. It’s mind-boggling because he has the tools to be a good defender with his lateral quickness and athleticism. He has his moments where he shows his best Dwyane Wade impression with blocking shots. However, there are times when Ivey gets lost off-ball, leading to back-door cuts to the basket. When he’s engaged, good things typically happen on that side of the floor.
Another weakness in Ivey’s game is his playmaking. Instead of taking what the defense gives him, Ivey often tries to get his basket. In the NBA, this can work sometimes, but the majority of the time it doesn’t. Typically, the result leads to turnovers or poor decisions. Simply put, he doesn’t have the playmaking skills to be a lead guard on a team. For Ivey to become a star, he has to learn how to read the defense better. If he does, it will open up his game even more. With better patience, he will create better opportunities for himself and his teammates.
As mentionen, Ivey is the best guard prospect in the draft. He is getting picked in the top five. While there have been some Ja Morant comparisons, Ivey’s game seems more comparable to Donovan Mitchell and Victor Oladipo. Like Ivey, Morant is very explosive with the ball in his hands. However, Morant was an elite-level passer coming out of college, averaging 10 assists per game as a sophomore at Murray State. Ivey is more of an athletic scoring guard like Mitchell. He’s better served with off-ball duties because of limitations in his playmaking ability.
Projected Draft Range: Top Five
Likely Landing Spot: Detroit Pistons
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